I got up very early to catch the train to the airport. It’s Y24 and the first departure is 0600, reaching Terminal 3 about 0630. Beijing airport has a lot of facilities around the check-in area, but the gates are a tram ride away, with only a few eating places and a swag-load of duty free shops. You go through immigration at the gate end of the tram – first passport stamping, then some kind of ‘security’ check on your passport, then x-ray screening. There is free internet at the gate if you scan your passport in one of the machines.
Departure from Beijing was delayed by TWO HOURS due to their air traffic control being crap. Apparently this is normal. I flew Asiana, and they gave us ‘breakfast’ at 11am – rice ‘porridge’, a bun, a pickled egg, and yoghurt. The porridge is one of the worst things I have ever eaten.
The flight to Seoul was only 1 1/2 hrs and once again I went straight through customs. The train to town takes about an hour.
I had checked in to BiBim House, which was a bit hard to find given the Korean addressing systems – they display a normal street address, but places also have a block and suburb identifier. There’s no sign on the door. However the owner was the most hospitable person I have met – he gives guests a bag of sweets on arrival, then he took me to the post office and translated everything when I had to send a parcel, then showed me a good place for dinner! I had